What stuck in my mind was the x-ray
of a hand of teeth gripping the skull.

What stuck in my head was a broken carat
of windscreen glass, crowned in secret

in a shrink of scar. Then seventeen years
until, at last, it chose to leave me here,

a hotel above grey-washed Toronto.
When I lifted my hand, it fell, a diamond

from the devil’s spittoon, onto the crested paper,
the nailtip of a stalactite breaking.

Did I feel alone without my tough glass star,
its chunk of crystal shining by the bone?

It had brought me more darkness than light
so, for all our long companionship, I let it go.

If we meet again I shall set it to burn
until the prints peel from my fingers,

and the streetlights paw at the night, shiver
on and off, and the neighbours

wake, cricked in a strobe of doubt.
After seventeen years it worked itself out.